Vettel to leave Red Bull, Kvyat to take his place

2015 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel will leave Red Bull at the end of the season and his place at the team will be taken by Daniil Kvyat, the team have confirmed.

Amid rumours Vettel will go to Ferrari to take Fernando Alonso’s place at the team, the first official move in the driver market has been taken by the reigning world champion.

“Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season,” said Red Bull in a statement on Saturday.

“We’re pleased to announce that Daniel [Ricciardo] will be joined in the team for 2015 by another rising star from the Junior Programme, Daniil Kvyat.”

Red Bull guided Vettel’s progress towards F1 which led to him joining the team in 2009 from Toro Rosso. He won his first of four consecutive drivers’ championship titles with the team in 2010.

“It is a big step and hard to make such a decision,” said Vettel in a statement.

“The chance to drive in F1, the first win with Scuderia Toro Rosso, the four championship wins with Infiniti Red Bull Racing and many other great memories have bound Red Bull and myself together into a kind of family. No one can take these times away from us.

“Now I have decided to take the next step in my career but first I would like to express once again big thanks to Dietrich Mateschitz, Dr Helmut Marko, Christian Horner, the whole Red Bull family, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. I would like to thank everybody within Red Bull for their confidence in me, trust and great support over the last years.”

The decision marks a surprise promotion for Kvyat, who made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso at the beginning of the season. In August Toro Rosso said Kvyat would remain with them for a second season, alongside newcomer Max Verstappen, and his impending switch to Red Bull leaves a vacancy in their line-up.

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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173 comments on “Vettel to leave Red Bull, Kvyat to take his place”

  1. I can’t believe it.

    1. lol me either! we were all focused on Alonso & this comes out of nowhere.

      1. I think Alonso was the source of this. If he had wanted to stay at Ferrari, they never would have went after Vettel.

        1. gustavo maia
          4th October 2014, 5:29

          Or maybe Alonso preempt the media discussion by making appear that he was the main piece moving

          1. And Jev is gone. who will take the STR seat?

        2. It is confirmed that Alonso is going to McLaren-Honda. My predicted line-up for next year will be:

          Mercedes: Hamilton & Rosberg
          RBR: Ricciardo & Kvyat
          Ferrari: Vettel & Raikkonen
          Williams: Bottas & Massa
          McLaren: Alonso & Magnussen
          Force India: Hulkenberg & Perez
          Toro Rosso: Verstappen & Sainz Jr.
          Lotus-Renault: Maldonado & Grosjean
          Marussia: Bianchi & Chilton
          Sauber: Van Der Garde & Vergne
          No Caterham.

          1. Hope I can be the next Eddie Jordan! And speaking of which, we should give kudos to EJ again! It was in 2013 that he predicted that Alonso would be moving to McLaren-Honda in 2015. He was right in predicting Lewis’s move to Mercedes, Toto Wolff & Paddy Lowe’s reign at Mercedes, chucking Ross Brawn out, he was right about Kimi Raikkonen moving to Ferrari last year, he was right about Hulkenberg moving to Force India last year even though the majority of the people thought he was going to Lotus, he predicted Magnussen replacing Perez, and last but not least, he predicted Alonso jumping ship to McLaren-Honda. This bloke is AMAZING. He would be one of the few people I would invite to dinner if I had the chance, especially at the start of every silly season!

    2. Me too, it absolutely makes no sense. The Ferrari will probably be a dog next year, and the same is true for next year’s McLaren. Ferrari’s chassis will be OK thanks to James Allison’s and Dirk de Beer’s input but that won’t be enough to compensate the shortage in power from the engine. On the other hand, it is true that Red Bull lost some key people like Peter Prodromou and to a lesser extenet Adrian Newey but still …

      The only logical reason behind all this would be that Vettel thinks he won’t be capable to beat his Ricciardo if they both fight for the championship next year.

      Who will take Kvyat’s seat then, Carlos Sainz Jr.?

      1. Vettel wants to show that he can build a team like Schumacher did and he knows it can take time.He’s young enough to give it a shot and he already has four titles in the bag so there isn’t really anything to lose. If he achieves it not only would he emulate his hero but it is an opportunity to show that he didn’t just win because of the Red bull and Newey, further cementing his status. It makes perfect sense to me

        1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
          4th October 2014, 12:17

          Really? You think that Vettel has *that* of an ambition?

          1. Yeah, why not? He already has legions of people suggesting he isn’t deserving of his haul of four titles and doing what Schumacher did and Alonso couldn’t would, without a doubt, shut people’s mouths.
            Driver’s all like the allure of Ferrari because the cars are like a diva, sexy and bitch like, and it takes great driver to handle the challenge and to be able to tame it or even get close to winning a championship. (Lauda,Schu,Prost, Alonso)
            He already has four titles to his name, his career has plenty of time left, Ferrari are restructuring, its a challenge which if pays off, will as I said cement his legacy.

            If I were driving in F1, I wouldn’t want to go to Ferrari myself. I would much prefer the clinical Mclaren environment. But I can understand why others would.

  2. Wow, just wow!

    1. I guess being spanked by his new team-mate did not sit well with the finger…

    2. And so does Ferrari era ends with Massa, Stefano Domenicali, Lucas Montz… and Fernando all leaving. Interesting. Vettel decided based on Aero Engineer(s) & Newey & RIC. Alonso ‘coz of above mentioned people and other factors (he’s done and satisfied proving against Kimi) – Move to next step.
      Poor Button – He still has chance and it’s all on Ron Dennis.
      JEV is pure unlucky and looked down upon.
      Kvyat undoubtedly impressive rookie of this season.
      What about Hulk, Groj?
      What if Ham loses Championship with tension in team near end of season.
      I can’t see people like BUT, JEV or MAG exit F1 before guys like MALdanado, Sutil, etc.
      2015 might probably my last season to view, let’s see how F1 would be in 2015. And then Kimi Alonso, Button, all quit.

      Future champions could have been anyone depending upon how it plays out in the market.
      Any of RIC, BOT, HULK, PER, KVY, GRO will win championships – some are lucky getting to p seats, while others talented wasted!

      1. demontizemalo leaving too

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      4th October 2014, 13:12

      @jleigh – This is why I love F1; because every morning you have no idea what story you are going to wake up to, because even the most seasoned and rational onlookers, Kevin Eason, Martin Brundle and Jonathan Noble in this case, can be so wide of the mark. I have spent hours and written thousands of words in articles and posts beating the drum of 2015 driver market status quo, and I have never been happier to be wrong. Albeit only Kvyat’s move is the only official move at the moment, here is how 2015 is set to shape up…

      Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat
      Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen
      McLaren – Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen
      Toro Rosso – Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr

      Oh my God, wow, just wow…tasty too. Although I have spent the majority of 2014 slating the Red Bull Young Driver Programme over Verstappen, kudos to Red Bull for believing in young talent; Kvyat will shine in Red Bull I’m sure and just a week after Sainz looked set to join Da Costa on the Red Bull Junior Team’s rubbish heap of broken dreams, despite looking dead certain for the 2014 FR3.5 title, these past two days are looking dramatically more promising for the talented young Spaniard (although it would be wrong for Red Bull not also consider the future of the equally impressive Alex Lynn). For Vettel it is paramount to recover his stock by convincingly beating Raikkonen in 2015, and for Fernando burying the hatchet with Dennis, if Ron will allow him to (although I think Honda will tell Dennis, in the strongest possible terms, to both hire Alonso and brush their past relationship under the carpet), is essential for his future, but for an individual as pragmatic and intelligent as Alonso I don’t see that being an issue. Those are the key areas of interest I can foresee, and there’ll surely be more to analyse as it emerges!

  3. Formula-I (@)
    4th October 2014, 2:59

    I actually hoping JEV-Dan in RBR

    1. I was hoping that too, but now it looks like Marko has decided to move on. Ricciardo-Kvyat (I’ve been saying all year it was a future line-up, but I thought it would be for 2016); Sainz-Verstappen. Unless Marko surprises us all again, and goes for the future potential of Gasly instead of Sainz….

    2. Me too, but it’s not going to happen. I thought that it was certain that Alonso was leaving I didn’t think that Vettel would jump the gun. However nothing changes. The facts are that Santander is back at McLaren and according to the late Botin it’s definitely not because of just Button, the sponsor was there for Lewis and since their comeback to McLaren it’s clear that either Lewis or Fernando is coming back to McLaren. Rosberg is staying put and Hugo Boss went after Lewis to Mercedes next season but I’m sure Hugo Boss wouldn’t matter with having Alonso at Mercedes. See nothing changes but the obvious confirmation that Vettel exercised his clause link with Ferrari, the only news is that Vergne was thrown out and is definitely not going to benefit with it.

    3. I think Vergne must have done something to turn off Marko, he is not giving him a break. I´m guessing Sainz luck will turn for the best.

      1. And wow just wow!!!!

  4. Poor JEV.

    1. I would have promoted JEV on the merit of having equal if not marginally quicker pace, and of course, the biggest factor, more races under his belt to be joining RedBull’s more experienced team.

    2. No, poor Hulkenberg. It seems that he will never get the top team. Shame on F1!

      1. @slava I agree bro. I’m Australian but I’m just frustrated to see Hulkenberg been overlooked all the time. But then again, he did sign a multi year deal with Force India which started this year but then again, Vettel was contracted to race for Red Bull next year too

  5. Struggling to get my head around the idea of Alonso back at Mclaren. Such a shame it didnt work out at ferrari. he gave them everything. How ironic would it be if Ferrari delivered a winning car to Vettel from the start?

    1. Also the tefosi reaction to Vettel in a Ferrari. I wonder how they are feeling?

      1. But is FA leaving Ferrari?

        1. I’m assuming that Vettel leaving Red Bull is because a seat has opened up at Ferrari.

        2. According to the BBC, he is leaving.

      2. Shocking news. Well, if Vettel shows the passion and performance, the Italians will warm to him. Even Alonso was at one point the rival to Ferrari, snatching the 2006 title from Schumacher, and competing against them for the title in 2007.

      3. The same reaction with every Ferrari driver. Welcome Vettel !!! (From a 5 star General in the anti-Red Bull/Vettel brigade)

        1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
          4th October 2014, 12:19

          =) likewise. Actually I’m starting to think that Vettel might do it better than Alonso, just a little.

    2. Either Alonso or Vettel will bite the bullet, there is no other way to put it.

    3. The last time a German multiple world champion joined Ferrari, it turned out to be a pretty good move :)

  6. what about jean eric vergne? he was a match for ricciardo….

    1. @mike-e And he’s clearly beating Kvyat this year. This is a “number 2 driver” choice, they don’t want the same problems than Mercedes.

      1. @francorchamps17 People said that about Red Bull’s decision last year, didn’t they?

    2. He wasn’t a match for Riccardo. And Kvyat has shown a lot more than expected from his first year and that is why his getting the promotion. Because he seems to have more talent for development that Vergne has.
      Vergne is a mediocre driver and people should just accept it already and stop thinking this is some big injustice.

  7. I have the feeling that Vettel’s decision is based in most part on Newey leaving aswell… otherwise, I don’t see it… maybe he feels Red Bull’s reign is faiding, who knows.

    Ted Kravitz just asked Helmut Marko if they had chased Alonso and Helmut cheekily dodged the question saying. “we have our driver programme”. Maybe they approached him but he decided to go to McLaren?

    This is way too interesting :D !

    1. Or maybe Daniel arriving? either way I have more respect for Vettel now, it would’ve been so easy to stay with RBR and wait for Renault to get better next year, but this is a bold decision which can pay off in the long term.

      And you’re right, he knows that F1 works in cycles and Red Bull’s might be over.

      1. I would have preferred him to race Dan for another year. he has been unlucky, and it would most likely be closer if they were teammates agin.

      2. Yes. And no.
        He’s a 4 times WC and is being soundly defeated by a driver who was a nobody 12 months ago.
        He’s being unlucky, yeah, but is also being beaten most of the time.
        If he chooses to stay, and lose again, it would be a disaster for him as a multiple WC.

        It’s a very oportunistic exit, really. He is going to drive to the team he’s been linked for years, probably making a mountain of money and can even say that he leaves Red Bull to achieve new things. But also, and we all know that, to avoid being beaten again by a driver that probably could also be a 4 times WC on his place.

  8. He will race at Ferrari or at McLaren?

    1. He has both the options open @jorge-lardone and that is why there is no announcement coming. He is waiting to see the move Alonso is making..

      1. Sure he has both options? I thought Vet only had the exit-option for Ferrari, he couldn´t get out of his contract for any other team. That´s why Horner/Marko already know he´s going to Ferrari, whereas normally you would leave it to the new team to announce.

        1. @crammond If they knew he was going to Ferrari, then they wont have announced Kyvatt and Vest pairing for Torro Rosso and in all probability waited out to know what is happening. RedBull seems to have not protested his move, either having anticipated it or they wanted him to move on as they have a pretty strong line up behind VET, and release him of his contract. Well, this is what I think – and of course i am not way an insider so for all you know, it could be ALO moves on from Ferrari or is being kicked.

          1. No @hemzshaw, as @crammond mentions, Vettel has/had a clause in his (latest) contract that says he can leave if an opportunity to drive for Ferrari comes up, if I recall correctly; not any other other team. So only way Vettel could tell Horner yesterday “Hi, I’m leaving” and it resulting in RBR letting him go today would be when it was to Ferrari.

  9. Could he be following the aerodesigners to McLaren or does he think he can succeed at Ferrari where Alonso failed.
    Would have loved to see Seb and Fred driving the same car!

    Team orders tomorrow ?

    1. Soon to be announced, Ros Brawn to go back to Ferrari… One can dream.

    2. Alonso and Vettel at Ferrari. Now, those two could win more races than Mercedes this year, with a car with performance like 2013’s Lotus.

      1. Wonder if we soon hear Newey is going to Ferrari?

  10. Vet bottled it lol. Could not hack it. This is a huge *next to his name now fact that he will leave 0-1 behind Ric.. Kvyat is so lucky aswell. Does not deserve it one bit. Neither does Jev i wish Red Bull would go for a name go get Hulk or Alonso.

  11. Two young stars at Red Bull, Raikkonen-Vettel former champions and good friends at Ferrari, Alonso at McLaren… could be interesting. Here’s hoping that everything falls into place (well-balanced tyres, more parity among engines, no strange new rules or gimmicks, etc) to make 2015 an awesome season.

  12. Formula-I (@)
    4th October 2014, 3:10

    And this chain reaction will led Ferrari and Alonso to McLaren. The next i hope Button will stay at McLaren and I also hope that Magnussen will be McLaren test driver or maybe to Sauber

  13. Vet just wants to go beat a driver who will not be a match for him.

  14. What the heck! This is stupid move for Vettel

    1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      4th October 2014, 3:19

      I think it’s got a hint of Hamilton 2012 syndrome to it. He wants some new challenges, he’s won 4 WDC with RB, I can imagine the urge to jump ship after being with a successful outfit for so long is actually rather appealing

      1. If he needs new challenges, he can drive for ForceIndia or Caterham :P

        1. Fun and attainable challenges, not impossible and frustrating ones :)

          1. @ironcito I suspect Alonso would disagree, with hindsight.

      2. Hamilton Syndrome? I thought it was called “Do a Schumacher”.

    2. Stupid for future results ? maybe, but FINANCIALLY doing a 5 year deal while you are still WORLD CHAMPION makes sense, what if he stayed with RBR and kept getting beaten by RIC, how much would his 4 WDCs be worth then?

      1. Unless he is getting an absolutely superior car, he would continue to get beaten by RIC weather with RBR or without. Financially, RedBull are paying Vettel much less than what ALO, Kimi or Button are getting – and I can accept him moving for money.

      2. They’d be worth… between 3 and 5 world championships.

  15. Didn’t see that coming. So will he leave for Ferrari or McLaren? And where does that leave Alonso? Phew, can’t wait to see this unfold…

    1. And Vergne must be the most depressed human being on the face of the earth right now.

      1. +1. But I would say more so Hulkenberg.

  16. Do we know if FA is indeed leaving Ferrari for Mac?

    @keithcollantine Apparently twitter is abuzz that in fact, as per a quote from Horner, it is not a rumour that SV is going to Ferrari. Have you any confirmation as to the SV’s destination?

  17. fordongreeman
    4th October 2014, 3:15

    vettel to replace rosberg at mercedes. rosberg to mclaren. alonso stays at ferrari

    1. Rather interesting.

  18. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    4th October 2014, 3:22

    Woah, that throws a big spanner in the works. I thought Vettel was cushty at RB but it seems he’s jumping ship. I never even fathomed a possible Vettel are McLaren. This is crazy news!!

    If Alonso doesn’t stay at Ferrari and Kvyat upgrades to RB, McLaren surely has to be Alonso’s next stop.

    1. i heard Ron Dennis is being stood down at McLaren, now there is a good reason for Alonso to come back,
      but Vettel is a surprise, that move can be seen as one or more reasons, more money, the other to prove critics he can win in another car,
      what happens when Kim start kicking Vets ass? then we will all know the car was due the credit of Vets world championships…

  19. Silly season is real?

  20. WOW! Keep your head on a swivel! This is intense news

  21. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    4th October 2014, 3:42

    wow, and what if Vet pairs Alo in Ferrari? Kimi hasn’t delivered as expected, and if Ferrari is a more attractive option to Seb, it could mean he was offered a strong package for sure. So in that case, why not Alonso staying put? Dropping super expensive Kimi to get the hottest pair on the grid.
    Just my dream

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      4th October 2014, 3:44

      But don’t forget my favorite drivers will (almosy sure) be teammates next year. In red

    2. Most likely Vettel is going to Mclaren Honda..Fernando and Kimi are going nowhere..JEV stays put..Button is on the move..?

    3. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Vet and Alo in the same team, but I doubt it’s gonna happen.

      1. +1 That would be a fantastic pairing to watch.

      2. Alonso and Vettel in Mclaren and Hulk in Ferrari. :)

    4. Alonso and Vettel would be a legendary pairing

      1. Naah, Vettel is over-rated, Alonso would humiliate Vettel. I guess Alonso-Lewis will be legendary pairing, but where and when is the question [Maybe when Lewis wins 2nd champ], Mark my words, Vettel no matter where he goes will be beated by his team-mate next year. Unless Kimi struggles yet again to setup his car *sigh*.
        Alonso is such a experienced driver that he fears no one as team-mate (except maybe Lewis) but does he want all that tension (like how it’s going betw HaM & ROS this year) is the question.

        1. Also, forget the money. If Vettel truely is “mentally strong” or fierce driver, he would take beating RIC itself as “New Challenge” and would do it before moving to Ferrari or wherever he likes. This very “cowardly move” itself shows he’s not gonna do well next year compared to his team-mate. And he can get away and covered up with excuses of getting used to team, car, setups, environment, first year with new team, etc reasons.

    5. @omarr-pepper
      Now i see it !! This new avatar suits you very well, you can’t actually find a more crazy place than F1, next year you will be cheering for Ferrari (directly or indirectly) and i will be cheering for Vettel (very directly) !!

      1. @tifoso1989
        and i will be back to older and childhood team as well to cry forza Ferrari (Directly)

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        4th October 2014, 13:39

        @tifoso1989 hahaha, good point! crazy times are coming

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          4th October 2014, 14:11

          @tifoso1989 and you’ll need a new avatar too!!

          1. @omarr-pepper
            We need to wait until Vettel wears that red suit !!!!

  22. *reads headline, head explodes*

    1. same here

  23. This has just exploded the drivers market, in a way I haven’t seen for years, possibly ever!

    I have to believe that this is in some way connected to Alonso moving. The question now is whether Vettel is joining Alonso at McLaren, going to McLaren himself (with Alonso staying at Ferrari) or jumping into Alonso’s seat?

    Where does this leave Button? Is he now being pushed out of F1? Is Magnussen safe? Who will be called up to Torro Rosso? That team will surely have team-mates with the youngest ever average age in F1 next season. How will Kvyat handle a top tier seat so early in his F1 career?

    I think the top drivers are shrewd enough operators that these moves are not made without a hell of a lot of planning. Wherever Vettel is moving, he must be confident he can win with his new team. If Alonso is going from Ferrari then I’d love to see Vettel in the vacant seat. Let’s see if he can emulate his idol and return the prancing horse to glory.

    1. @colossal-squid Button is on a sticky wicket here. The possibility of Vettel joining McLaren with Alonso will be surely a disaster for McLaren and both drivers – as much for Ferrari for loosing Alonso. No other team will be picking Button up – unless he degrades himself to a low rung team.

      ALO at McLaren along with MAG, RAI and VET at Ferrari settles the case – unless there are more shakeups further down the grid.

  24. This is a bold thought, but what If Raikkonen leaves Ferrari, not Alonso, making Ferrari the Alonso-Vettel “dream” / “disaster” pair. Personally I think it is best for Alonso to wait till 2016 to join Honda.

    1. Without RAI/ALO moving, VET wont have put his papers at RedBull. Or McLaren have been successful in getting VET to drive alongside BUT/MAG.

      VET/ALO will be a disaster pair at McLaren, not so much at Ferrari.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        4th October 2014, 5:05

        @hemzshaw In my opinion even Red Bull could be trying to get Alonso. Today’s round-up mentions Boullier saying Alonso would have a better bet in McLaren rather than RedBull, so maybe Kvyat is just the “dummy” in case Alonso is not lured.

        1. I also think that wasn’t completely impossible @omarr-pepper, then thought wouldn’t RBR have waited with that press conference. … Unless it is intended to push Alonso to finally make his move (to RBR), that I could believe.

        2. Redbull already announced their second driver @omarr-pepper, and it is going to be RIC and KYV – so there is no move for Alonso to Redbull. You cannot change a driver once announced – it will be an embarrassment. Which is why you saw RIC making the promotion this year! This is not Redbull policy.

  25. In a year where the whole silly season seemed like something the media had nothing to show, it will be remembered as one of the biggest days in the driver market history.

  26. Although I hadn’t seen it coming Kyvat’s promotion, is logical with Red Bull’s philosophy, rather than search for another experienced, top tier driver, it’s the knock on effect that I find interesting.

    The logical conclusion is that Max Verstappen (due to seniority if they promote from outside F1), at the age of 17 years & 4 days, is now the no.1 driver in an F1 team. I do realise that they put drivers on an equal footing & wouldn’t realistically expect them to have a clear no.1

    1. I don’t think a Verstappen/Sainz Jr. pairing with so few experience is a good idea. Is it possible that they reverse their decision to sack Vergne? Probably not, but that’s what I would do …

  27. I think Vettel is overestimating the importance of Newey and Prodomos in the Red Bull team. Without both, Red Bull will still make good cars, no doubt.

    I now wonder if the real reason for Vettel’s under-performance this season was lack of motivation. He kept on saying negative things about the new rules and sound so much that Marko had to tell him to do his job. He is consistently beaten by Ricciardo. He had a daughter over the winter break.

    So maybe, moving to Ferrari is his way of challenging himself and motivating himself.

    I feel for Hulknburg, Binachi and Grosjean. It would have been good to see a new driver in the top teams.

    1. It is curious that Red Bull already had a replacement ready and they did not have too many back and forth with Vettel. So, they must genuinely believe it is the car and both Daniil and Daniel are faster than Seb.

      1. Well, I thought this move was on the book as soon as we heard Horner talking about how big a worth Vettel is to the team – no doubt they are getting a nice payout for letting him go early. But yes, for Marko it was just what he needed to keep the driver program from stalling, now he can promote Kvyat and have the other guys take another step up too.

        1. I heard around the live chat Vettel was leaving on a performance clause (he must be 3rd or higher), not sure how accurate that is.

          1. Makes sense, since he had a contract for 2015. Or he can ask his next team to pay the payout …

          2. Ironic then that his own under performance has enabled him to engineer his move to Ferrari!

          3. @austus
            If he is not 3rd in the WDC standings after September 30th he can leave

  28. Andrew Benson at the BBC is reporting Alonso is out at Ferrari and to be replaced by Vettel. Wow. Can’t believe this is actually happening. The drama. I hate to see Alonso go, he really is the best driver on the grid, but I’ve always admired and liked Vettel.

  29. So, MM is the boss at Scuderia. Raikkonen & Vettel my two favs ll be driving ferrari 2015 and it also reminds me of what has happened to Kimi at ferrari is happening to Alonso. Karma is really true :O

  30. What about Vergne?!

    1. Sauber if he’s lucky and gets sponorship. I don’t expect him to stay on the grid at all. People can talk him up all they want, but it seems no team outside of STR thinks very highly of him.

      1. Unfortunately the seats Vergne hopes to occupy all rely on the driver bringing money more than talent. If he can’t find a seat then I’d wager that it’s because he couldn’t write cheques, not that he couldn’t drive well enough.

        1. And given that he has never before had to go out and find that money, he is a bit handycapped there @colossal-squid, honestly I rather expect him to show up in Formula E or in a sports car program instead of staying in F1

          1. Or he could replace Buemi as RB’s simulator driver.

  31. So Vettel to Ferrari or McLaren, Alonso to McLaren or remains at Ferrari, so is Button out essentially?

  32. This is huge. Ferrari? McLaren? You have to presume the former, as is the mass consensus, but then where does Alonso go?

    He’s certainly not going to Red Bull. McLaren looks to be his only primary path.

    I’m very, very excited at this announcement!

    1. We haven’t even considered that Alonso might remain at Ferrari and Räikkönen would remain. That would be sensational.

  33. So Perez, Hulkenberg and Bianchi will now have to stay put till Alonso/ Button retire from McLaren. Even then, McLaren might just draft in Stoffel or Magnussen. The Red Bull and McLaren junior programmes have stemmed the flow of talent from midfield teams to the top tier. Perez got kicked out last season and now everything seems locked up for these guys. If Raikkonen goes, then there will be just 1 seat vacant in the top 4 teams with too much experienced and proven talent left without a top drive. Bodes well for midfield teams but keeps the driver waiting for his big break.

    On another note, gutted for JEV..he is just as good as Ricciardo but probably Marko doesn’t believe so

    1. I’d say Bianchi to Ferrari for 2016 after Kimi calls it a day @forcef1

      1. After today, my opinion is never say never. We saw this with Hamilton in 2012, Magnussen in 2013 and now with Vettel in 2014.

      2. @bascb if i was ferrari, it would be good to give Bianchi a chance in Sauber..evaluate him properly before giving him the ferrari seat..

        1. No, I don’t see that @forcef1, they can just as well leave him at Marussia then. At Marussia they are making progress and he can be part of it, something that could come very handy for Ferrari. Sauber is too big a mess – relatively high cost to keep it running and little money available (while Marussia is just low budged overall)

  34. Not one suggestion that Ferrari is now ready for 3-car setup for next season with 3 former World Champions.
    Everyone’s mind is blown that Seb leaves RedBull… but what if Kimi and Fernando are staying put as well?

    1. Not a hope. Every team has already come out and stated that they wouldn’t have enough time to implement three car teams by the start of 2015. Chalk the three car teams down to another Bernie pipe dream, along with the medal system and trackside sprinklers.

    2. @mtlracer Ferrari cannot take that step without an official confirmation of a 3rd Car. As of now, none of the low rung teams are going bust (Caterham may be on the verge) so this option is something that is out of question as of now.

      1. Agreed, but two days ago, who would have thought Vettel would go to Ferrari next year?
        All the “experts” say Alonso can adapt to any car, and I cannot argue otherwise. Both Kimi and Sebastien have blamed their performances this year on the car they have “not suiting their driving style”. And now Ferrari’s line up will be two drivers that have a hard time adapting to new cars?

        1. @mtlracer Which is a fact too, but consider this – you dont have clarity that 3rd car is going to happen and then why would you hire a driver paying millions. So Vettel’s announcement could have waited once that confirmation of a 3rd car is out!

  35. I’m wondering if someone put something funny in my drink last night, because I’ve woken up to this strange news story…surely this can’t be real?

  36. How about Kimi going back to McLaren and Alonso is partnered by Vettel in Ferrari? Button or Mag to lose out. Me thinks Button.

  37. Only just woken up to turn on the CH interview on BBC.. Honestly didn’t expect this, but I think it’s fairly obvious what’s going to happen now… ALO to McLaren, VET to Ferrari. Goodbye to JEV and BUT (My money is on a NIssan LMP1 drive or a seat at Haas in 2016)

  38. No surprises there then as it was mentioned a couple of seasons ago

  39. now, what about lewis hamilton ?

  40. And so it started.

    Vettel is leaving RBR and isn’t going to Merc . Can Ferrari or McLaren fight with RBR and Merc next year?

  41. Vettel to Ferrari and Alonso has signed a deal with Honda to drive for McLaren. Interesting choice by Alonso’s management.

  42. I think Vettel is just a tad ungrateful – Ferrari are Ferrari, but they’ve done nothing recently to deserve a driver like Vettel. That is if he goes there – and if he doesn’t I’ll be even more surprised.
    And it’s sad for Vergne not to see his name as Ricciardo’s team mate – the decision to promote the latter was a tough one as the two battled closely in 2012 and 2013. Perhaps having already dismissed Vergne Red Bull didn’t want to appear weak by retracing their steps. Now let’s hope Sainz Jr. gets the STR seat!

    1. I haven’t been following FR 3.5 but Sainz Jr. doesn’t seem like the next superstar. It a shame Antonio Felix da Costa won’t get his chance.

  43. So where is he going? Toro Rosso? Why would Ferrari want a driver who gives up after one difficult season? That’s basically the opposite of Alonso.

    If Alonso leaves, Ferrari’s best option seems to be Button.

    1. In such case, Button & Kimi would be with similar diving styles, and won’t be dynamic. Isn’t good for team like Ferrari, don’t see it.

  44. I guess Vettel has got used to not winning this year and he likes it!

  45. Somebody’s off to Nissan. Not saying who, I’ll only get it wrong.

  46. To me, Verne is the most obvious and best choice to replace Vettel. However, Kvyat could be more of a commercial move due his nationality.

  47. ColdFly F1 (@)
    4th October 2014, 6:23

    Does this mean that Button retires at the end of the year?
    Almost all options leave him without a seat.

  48. Wow! That really came out of nowhere! So Fernando will definately go to McLaren. Let’s just hope Ferrari will sign Bianchi for next season ;)

  49. @keithcollantine I’ve just seen an interview with C. Horner where he confirmed that S. Vettel has had a very interesting offer from Ferrari.

  50. Must be why Seb has a red helmet this weekend.

  51. Is Kimi’s seat at Ferrari a certainty? and it seems that Vettel is almost definitely going to Ferrari it would’ve been nice to see Alonso and Vettel in the same team, but that is extremely unlikely to happen. so I honestly think that a Vettel/Bianchi Ferrari would be an extremely intriguing and exciting team. (even Hulkenburg as an option idk) and for McLaren I don’t think it would be fair to see Button stay and Magnusson leave, so an Alonso/Magnuson team would be good but if Magnuson has to go I think either Grosjean or Hulkenburg should be considered, even JeV. but idk the domination from Mercedes this season made my interest in the season sway and made me more keen for next season but now that this is going to be one of the biggest years for driver moves for a while I am now pretty eager to see what happens and I can only dream about my dream driver pairings…

  52. LATEST NEWS, according TO spanish TV F1 presenter (close friend of FA) Alonso agreed to leave Ferrari TWO weeks ago, without paying any compasation for leaving THE team. FA has an important offer from McLaren BUT he has not accepted IT YET, The reasson IS that 4 weeks ago Mercedes offered Ferrari To exchange Hamilton FOR FA AND there are conversations in Mercedes about Hamilton’s future.

    Apparently a decission about Hamilton WILL be made by Mercedes during The next days/weeks AND if Hamilton continues driving for Mercedes FA WILL go to McLaren. If Mercedes decides To end Hamilton’s contract FA WILL be in MERC next year.

    1. lol you did see Toto in fp1?He said you only leave you’re wife fr a better one, not a chance they ditch Hamilton. In you’re dreams though i bet.

    2. “The reasson IS that 4 weeks ago Mercedes offered Ferrari To exchange Hamilton FOR FA AND there are conversations in Mercedes about Hamilton’s future.”


    3. In which wonder land mate
      im sure that wasn’t called Earth with the Sport named F1

  53. umer (@umerbaloch51)
    4th October 2014, 7:56

    but Guys you are all forgetting that Who will Alonso Replace in Mcleran Button or magnussen? if Button will be replaced then he has a good chances too… to go at Ferrari Kimi or Button? kimi or Magnussen? Or kimi and vettle. but Three of them are in their Best.

  54. What about Antonio Felix Da Costa? That poor guy was completely overlooked by Red Bull and Toro Rosso for Daniil Kvyat (who is talented but not as experienced as Da Costa) and if Da Costa doesn’t get this vacant Toro Rosso seat left by Kvyat, than what can Da Costa do?

    He tested for Force India in 2010 if I’m not mistaken but joined the Red Bull Junior Program a few years ago and this year, since he didnt get the Toro Rosso seat for this year, he joined Sebastian Buemi as test driver for Red Bull. If anything, he should get in before anyone else.

    But unfortunately, he does have competition in Carlos Sainz Jr., a driver that I think will have a successful future in F1, but even though I really want Sainz Jr. to fill the vacant seat, I think Da Costa should have it.

    But then again, Da Costa’s 23 years old next year and I think that may be too old for Franz Tost’s liking

  55. I think this move for Vettel has been carefully orchestrated by Bernie . Remember Vettel does not have a manager. Bernie was his guide all through. Needless to say C Horner is also a prodigy and friend of Bernie. The Red Bull exit was apparently based on the clause that Vettel can exit if he is not 3rd or higher in the standings by sept 30. Vettel is not crazy to put down his papers at Red Bull unless he has some level of certainty to his future. I believe Vettel is going to Ferrari. I am pretty sure it was not a surprise to C.H and H.Marko. In fact C H had gone on to say that Vettel could not resist the offer from a brighter team. Unless we all believe Mclaren is brighter than Ferrari, it is obvious Ferrari is the brightest team on the grid.

    I think even Alonso needs a breath of Fresh air. I read that the contract exit was a parting gift by Big Luca to Alonso.

    If Brawn is getting back to Ferrari that is going to be fun. So bottom line Ferrari made “an offer” to Vettel that he could not Refuse !!!!!

    Button must be thinking . I must have listened to Ross Brawn and stayed back at Brawn GP !!!. I might be a champion once again this year.

    1. This is 2014 not 2011, But would not stand a chance of being WC this year against these 2.

  56. Wow.. I won’t comment on Vettel leaving Red Bull because I’m still shocked. But I’m surprised that Red Bull went for Kvyat so quickly. I mean, last year they took a while to decide between Raikkonen, Vergne and Ricciardo. This year there are a lot of options as well. There’s Vergne, Kvyat and there are two world champions who don’t really know what they are going to do next year (Alonso and Button).

    Maybe they saw that hiring drivers from Toro Rosso has worked extremely well in the last couple of occasions, so they are very confident that Kvyat will be at Ricciardo’s level almost immediately.

  57. That means

    Kyvat-Red Bull
    JEV-Out of F1

  58. With due respect to Alonso he never built a team around himself and has been a negative influence. He was well within his comfort zone with Massa being his loyal deputy. He was able to show his superiority over Kimi only because they were not on the same footing as far as upgrades machinery etc. Will be debatable what he hopes to achieve in Honda who will be kick starting their campaign next year. Also would be interesting to see if KMAG would be allowed to get an upperhabs if they race together. In that aspect may be better for him to be paired with BUT.
    VET Ferrari move is a feel good factor for them and will boost their morale. Interesting times ahead.

  59. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    4th October 2014, 10:11

    This puts Toro Rosso in an odd position. They exist as a driver farm for the Red Bull team yet its hard to see the line-up changing at the big team for a good few seasons. When a Red Bull seat does become available it will surely be earmarked for Verstappen, the future Red Bull line-up is seemingly sewn-up for years and years to come so where does that leave the Toro Rosso team?

    As we have seen with Algersuari and now JEV, dropped Toro Rosso drivers crash out of F1 with no backing behind them to secure a seat in another team. The same will surely happen to Verstappen’s 2015 teammate were he a Red Bull young driver so perhaps the team should bring in Jenson Button, should Alonso take his place at McLaren.

    Surely Jenson’s experience would be valuable to the team in terms of points as opposed to having two rookies, note his points tally this year as opposed to Magnussen.

    Button or any non Red Bull junior driver to Toro Rosso however would seem very unlikely. Of those likely to take the seat I hope it goes to Jan Mardenbrough. At least when he gets dumped he has Nissan and Gran Turismo behind him to stop his career stalling.

    1. Alex Lynn would be more likely than Jan given that he’s been far more consistant and part of the Red Bull Junior program.

  60. This could be a very smart move!
    No doubt RBR is a top class team and will always be, but with the current Ferrari reshuffle, it might be a great time to build a team around him. They can only get better from now on I’m guessing. And, he gets to drive a Ferrari, which I am guessing he always wanted.
    Would be a great pairing, Vettel and Raikkonen, eh??

  61. Spare seat at Toro Rosso. Probably too late to do a U-Turn on JEV. 3 options:
    Antonio Felix Da Costa
    Carlos Sainz Jnr
    Or what about Alex Lynn? Personally I think it’s too soon but he may not get another chance.

  62. I said it more than 1 month ago. Vettel is signed with Ferrari for 2015, obviously people dont hear. So they still guess if McLaren or Ferrari, lol. Vettel signed for Ferrari aproximately 3 months ago. Obviously cannot reveal this until the proper moment. If u want i will make u a summary of top teams so u dont get confussed:
    Ferrari: Vettel-Raikkonen.
    Mercedes: Hamilton-Rosberg.
    McLaren: Alonso-Magnussen.
    Renault: Grosjean-Maldonado.
    Williams: Bottas-Massa.
    RedBull: Kvyat-Ricciardo.
    ToroRosso: Versttapen-Sainz jr.
    ForceIndia: Perez-Hulkenberg.
    Caterham: in the air.
    Marrusia: in the air.
    Sauber: in the air.

  63. I really feel sorry for Bianchi as I feel he’s the best young driver on the grid and it looks more and more like his career will die at Marussia.

    1. @velocityboy
      I think he was Kimi replacement for 2016 .

  64. Who would have guessed Brazil 2013 would be Vettel’s last win for Red Bull?

    1. There is still 5 races left this year you know! Though unlikely not highly improbable for Vettel to get a win.

  65. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    4th October 2014, 14:21

    Why the hell did they go for Kyvat instead of Vergne? I know he has impressed but there is no doubt in my mind that Vergne has been better. They must know something I don’t with the telemetry.

  66. Whatever way the reshuffling goes now, Button figures to be the odd man out I think.Gutsy by Red Bull to promote Kvyat, I like. Vergne is very solid, but given that this has been Kvyat’s rookie season, he shows just a touch more potential.

  67. Michael Brown (@)
    4th October 2014, 18:36

    I have a feeling Red Bull only chose Kyvat to stay loyal to their driver programme, and went over Hülkenberg because of this.

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